In this series of news stories, we take you behind the scenes for a look at how USM staff are working diligently around the clock to keep campus clean and safe—both inside and outside—for students, faculty, and staff.
In the spring of 2020, school administrators began planning for ways they could safely re-open school for in-person learning in the fall during the COVID-19 pandemic. Summer is normally a busy time for the maintenance crew at University School of Milwaukee, which takes advantage of empty classrooms and hallways, but this summer, the crew tackled additional work beyond their typical summer projects. This included preparing the head of school residence for Steve Hancock and his family, renovating the auxiliary programs office suite, and preparing classrooms for physically distanced learning.
The maintenance team was given the job of maximizing the square footage of each classroom to safely accommodate in-person learning, with desks and tables spaced 6 feet apart. Teachers were asked to identify non-essential furniture in their classrooms—including file cabinets, book cases, bean bag chairs, etc.—which could be removed. With the help of Custodial Supervisor Lauro Robles and his entire custodial team, all non-essential furniture was moved into the hallways and picked up by Anchor Moving Systems. Ultimately, it took a moving crew three days to remove all the extra furniture from the building, filling five semis, three of which are currently stored off campus. The entire process was managed and organized by Maintenance Supervisor Mike Schneider and his team.
In addition to preparing classrooms, the team oversaw the installation of a new component of the school’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system, which uses negative and positive ions to filter out pathogens in the air. The new system uses new filters, however, which need to be changed every month in every classroom—a significant amount of work. “This new system will benefit the school for years to come,” said Schneider, “not just during the COVID-19 pandemic. The technology is so effective that many hospitals use it.”
Many thanks to the maintenance team for their hard work!
Aaron Drost Rick Geise Jim Rouse Mike Schneider Jesse Seltrecht